I had an opportunity to sit in a day long meeting with EMC and a customer last week. We did a walkthrough of the customers current environment and how we can simplify the overall environment to enable the customer to move to a more nimble, simplistic architecture. The customer has been an EMC customer for a little more than three years now and they have asked me to come in and bring all of the silos of infrastructure into an overall solution architecture. It has been fun so far and I'm looking forward to working with them and EMC over the next few years as things come together.
A Little History
I used to be an EMC customer back in the day and had a few Clariions running some small storage environments. They worked well, but I wasn't really impressed with the EMC service and the overall kluge that was the EMC machine at the time. Today I work for an EMC partner (amongst other vendors) and until recently I spent most of my time competing against them rather than working with them. Chuck, Barry and I have had several disagreements/discussions in the past over technologies (just look back in time on this blog) and I have nothing but respect for those guys.
Impressed with the new EMC
So back to the meeting we had last week. We had discussions around BURA, Unified Storage, Encryption, RSA, and the list goes on. Just the amount of resources that EMC was able to bring to the table, on short notice, was impressive. Each individual was knowledgeable about their individual product, but also was able to spout the overall EMC messaging well. They were able to show how their individual product meshed with the other EMC products that were relevant to the customer.
Most impressive about the day were the products in the pipeline slated for the near future. In the past EMC was a company with a lot of products that didn't really fit well together. Now they are a company that has brought things together and it feels like they have a true vision on where they want to go. Not just a vision but a plan on how to get to where they want to go. The end game is something that I always felt they lacked in the past. You can actually see how the differing products are going to come together to create an entire solution. Beautiful!
What will others do?
So that brings me to the smaller players in the storage industry. What are they going to do? They don't have the breadth of products that EMC has. They don't have the money EMC has. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. The good thing about the company I work for is that I am able to pick and choose from all the vendors we partner with to create the perfect solution. Storage companies just don't have that ability so they are going to have to partner with a company like mine to even think about competing with EMC. For the storage only players, I'm thinking they're probably just waiting to be bought. 3Par anyone?